Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Plaster! (again)

Yesterday's disheartening moment came during the project of removing the faux popcorn ceiling in the kitchen.

It did have to go -- the PO applied it badly. It looked like uneven cake icing, with great peaks and waves along all the edges in much greater quantity than that which graced the rest of the ceiling.

I know, I knew, that this spray-on popcorn is generally used to hide some greater flaw. I did not expect this 'flaw' to be a poorly repaired four foot hole in the ceiling and crumbling plaster walls above the stove.

The project was eased, for the most part, by the fact that rather than scraping all the icing off I was able instead to just peel the thick layer of paint underneath it off, the icing coming with it. But then I reached the Hole. My scraper met resistance. There was no paint underneath this section of icing. There was...drywall?

I gave up on that section for the time being, as I couldn't scrape the icing without scraping the drywall as well.

I started on the lower sections of ceiling, also popcorned, over the fridge, sink and stove. I ran into trouble when the top coat of the plaster began peeling off along with the paint. Over the stove, the top coat simply shattered and fell off at the touch. So there's a four to six foot section of upper wall/ceiling that either has no finish coating or has finish coating in imminent danger of falling off. The brown layer of plaster is worryingly crumbly/fragile to the touch, there are cracks in it, and there's a distinctive brown/rust stain that looks like the mesh layer inside the plaster. Water damage, yes? That would explain the repaired hole in the ceiling, too (although it would have to be a LOT of water).

So much for painting the kitchen anytime soon.

Broken Plaster

Apparently, plasterers are rare and expensive these days. I really dislike the 'hide it with drywall' idea. I want to have the plaster fixed, not hidden. I don't feel capable of doing this myself, though I'm sure that's the most cost effective way. I'm not sure how much of the brown coat would have to be knocked out to make the repair... Presumably the cabinet would have to be removed, too. augh. (And the tile above the stove? And the hood fan??)

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